You were marked in Christ with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit. Ephesians 1:13 (NIV)
I remember one of the first times I wore a clerical collar. I went quickly from being honored and humbled at the same time, to self-conscious, to forgetting I even had it on. All in one day.
In the beginning of the day, it was daunting to consider the responsibility that the collar represents – the actions that it would demand, and the attention that I would get just by wearing “the collar.” But as the day went on, the “awesomeness” (daunting or not) of the collar began to fade. I realized this while on my way home from a long CPE shift at the hospital. A driver had cut me off on the highway, and I instantly reacted with feelings of anger and I wanted him to know (in my passive aggressive way) that I didn’t like that. Now lest you be concerned that I’m a “road-rager,” this was but a fleeting moment, ending when my finger got caught in my collar! I instantly remembered who I was and with that came, “Who’s” I am. Marked in Christ. Signed. Sealed. Delivered… And that matters.
Now this is a story about a collar, but each of us has been marked in Christ in our baptism. Collar or no collar – we are Signed. Sealed. Delivered….. by God for the sake of the world.
And that mark never goes away. So no matter what we do or don’t do, God names us and claims us with the promise of the Holy Spirit. And our response? “I’m yours!” God calls us to remember our baptism daily – to go out into the world with an oil cross traced – etched – tattooed on our foreheads and on our hearts as a way to remind us to imitate Jesus and to show God’s love – to name and claim Jesus out in the world – To say, “You’re mine!”
So what if from when we woke up in the morning until we laid our heads down at night, we journeyed through our day consciously aware that we are God’s peeps, marked with Christ and promised and ordained by the Holy Spirit to be Jesus’ hands and feet in the world, for the sake of the world? Would that change how you act, where you go, what you do, who you encounter, how you encounter them?
May we embrace God’s marking, calling (singing) out, “Signed. Sealed. Delivered. I’m yours, God!”